The average income in Canada works out to a little less than $1000 per week. Take off some deductions and you’re still left with enough $20 bills to choke most wallets. I realize that most people don’t want to carry a week’s take-home pay around in cash, but those who choose to do so should be able to do it without bursting their wallets.
Many people prefer to make all their purchases with credit and debit cards. That’s fine. To each his or her own. For those of us who prefer to make some cash purchases, it would be nice to be able to get a few $50 bills from bank machines.
There was a time when it was more difficult to spend fifties and hundreds, but this was always overstated. It’s fairly rare to have a problem with fifties now, but you need to hold a couple of twenties just in case. I’ve never had a large retailer or grocery store even bat an eye at a fifty or hundred dollar bill.
It’s possible to get cash in the denominations you want from a teller, but this is inconvenient. I’d be happy if bank machines defaulted to giving me the first $120 to $200 in twenties and the rest in fifties. I’m told that there are some bank machines that give fifties, but I’ve never received anything but twenties from a BMO bank machine.
A further annoyance is that on those rare occasions when I want more than $500, I have to make two separate withdrawals and get hit with two withdrawal fees of a dollar each. Even paying a dollar for every withdrawal, I’m better off than if I pay for some banking package. But this fee annoyance is making me think more about getting a Tangerine chequing account.
It’s hard to tell to what extent banks are trying to steer people toward plastic transactions instead of using cash, and to what extent they are just reacting to people’s choice to use less cash. No doubt some people would be annoyed to receive a fifty from a bank machine. But these people probably take out money in smaller amounts anyway. So, I’m thinking that my idea to give the first $120 to $200 in twenties and the rest in fifties might work reasonably well.